Spring is in the air! The burst of activity which surges out of the stillness of winter has no equal elsewhere in the year; new energy and dynamic growth pours out bringing life and vigour to everything. The colours of the daffodils and crocuses and the cherry blossom are a relief after the stark and bleak outlines of the winter horizon. Spring lambs are starting to emerge jumping around the fields as they do! So this is a time of growth birth hope and new life. The ancient Chinese observed that the same dynamic that is in nature is within us – we are part of nature and experience the same yearly cycle inside ourselves – spring energy manifests in us as the Wood Element.
The Wood element in balance provides us with enthusiasm – we all know how good it is to be in the company of people whose vitality infects us. They have the motivation and vision of the springtime. When these qualities are lacking it can point to an imbalance in the Wood Element. Even if they were not sick the ancient Chinese would use Classical Five Element Acupuncture to help them successfully transition from one season to another to ensure they are in harmony with the current Season – tuning themselves into nature and helping to prevent disease from taking root.
The two organs associated with the Wood Element are the liver and the gallbladder. They control the functions of our eyes and vision and the state of our nails ligaments and tendons.The liver is responsible for planning and the gallbladder for decision making. And we can see how these responsibilities relate to spring. It is at this time of the year that we need to make plans for our future our direction our work. Simple things like doing a springclean of your home or deciding where you are going to go on holidays this year. We can see how the Wood energy controls the vision – we need the mental vision to make wise and correct decisions as we move forward into the future.
When the Wood element is out of balance in us we hear people say ‘I just dont know what to do’ ‘I can’t see straight’ ‘I cant see the wood from the trees’ – this can lead to frustration and irritability – if we perceive that there is no future for us we become hopeless and shut off. Physically the ligaments may be in trouble causing aching stiffness and constriction;the nails may be brittle hard and eye problems or headaches/migraines can start to dominate.
Once we diagnose an imbalance in the Wood energy the treatment will restore it to balance where there is a future; vision and ligaments will improve and our powers of decision making and planning return!
Enjoy the extra light and heat as Spring takes hold.
Here is a nutritious Spring recipe to try: Grilled Salmon Salad
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) honey
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) ground ginger (optional)
- 4 5 ounce (150 g) skinless salmon fillets
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) white wine vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon (.5 mL) sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups (750 mL) baby spinach
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, diced
- 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, diced
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) finely chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) capers
- Mix the soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest and ginger (if using); set aside.
- Barbecue the salmon fillets on a greased grill until firm and opaque, 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on thickness of fillets. Brush generously with the soy mixture near end of barbecuing time. Remove the salmon from grill.
- Mix together the Lemon Dressing ingredients; set aside.
- In a salad bowl toss together spinach, avocado, mango, red onion and capers. Break salmon into large chunks and gently mix into salad. Serve Lemon Dressing on the side.